Saturday, December 18, 2010

Here's What Democrats Will Be Doing for the Next 2 Years

Namely, complaining that Republicans have a voice in government.

If the Villager victory dance over this deal today is any indication, liberals have just been dealt completely out of the narrative and it's now simply a battle between conservatives, Tea Partiers and the president. And all the important parties agree that it is a perfect template for future "compromise."

I suppose in Digby's eyes compromise previously was telling Republicans to shut up and vote for their budget-busting, economy-cratering ideas.

Then there was this:
Of course, you have to keep in mind that the Republicans gave up nothing real in this deal. Since they never expected to keep the estate tax at zero all they gave up was a fake desire to make the tax cuts permanent -- they always wanted the issue for the election -- and an equally phony pose that they didn't want to extend unemployment.(Even they aren't dumb enough to pull that much money out of the economy at the moment) That's it, the full extent of their contribution to the "compromise." So keep your eyes peeled for the next irrelevant shiny object they throw out to the Democrats as compromise bait. I'm sure they have them all lined up.

Digby's wrong, of course, about what Republicans wanted from the Deal. Republicans did, in fact, want the threat of tax increases gone and didn't want the death tax reinstated at all. As for unemployment, there's debate about whether letting people live on the dole as long as desired is a good thing or not (it's really not, but liberals think you want everyone to starve if you point out human nature and the tendency not to change until forced to). And does Digby honestly think $313 billion in extra spending is an "irrelevant shiny object"? This from the same people complainig about not raising taxes in a recession.

I think the compromise was as good a deal as Barack Obama was going to get and he took it. Republicans possibly could have done better in the next Congress, but that would have required allowing tax rates to jump January 1, along with the attendant bad press, and I can't see John Boehner wanting that to be the new face of the Republican-Controlled House (although Democrats would love it).

One thing the crying and whining from Democrats over the last six weeks makes clear is that anything that doesn't add more debt and make people more dependent is going to be viewed as Making People Starve. I'm sure there are some non-thinking people who will find this appealing, but most people are going to see fiscal restraint as a good thing.